School bus mix-up leaves child alone

July 12, 2012 5:31:22 PM PDT
A Wake County mother is calling for change after her 6-year-old daughter was mistakenly put on a school bus and dropped off to walk home alone.

Michaela Sutton's first grader, Autumn, rode the bus to Wilburn Elementary School Monday morning, but Michaela told a teacher she would pick up Autumn that afternoon.

When Michaela showed up at the school to pick up her daughter, she learned there was a mix-up and that Autumn rode the school bus home.

Michaela said school officials first told her that Autumn was being brought back to the school.

While all this was happening, Autumn found a neighbor to take her in. The neighbor didn't realize that Michaela was frantically looking for her daughter.

Almost two hours passed before Michaela was called and managed to reunite with her daughter.

The school has apologized for the mix-up, but Sutton is upset that her daughter was dropped off at a bus stop without an adult there.

"If a parent is not there, they should go back to the school because a parent is not going to be responsible for a child that is not theirs," Michaela Sutton said.

Wake County Schools said it does not drop off kindergarten or first graders without a parent or guardian waiting at the stop. They said in Autumn's case, there were several children being dropped off and several adults waiting at the stop.

Officials said if Autumn would have told the driver her mom was not at the stop, she would have been driven back to the school.

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